Today is the official first day of Spring and, given the weather we have had for the past several days, we can be forgiven if we believe Spring may really be here. Whether or not we have seen the last of snow and cold is another matter.
Last week on the way to work, we saw a pair of Trumpeter Swans flying along highway 169 between Kinney and Mt. Iron. The same afternoon, we saw a small flock of pretty birds that were mostly white with black wing tips and tails north of Kinney on highway 25. I learned they were Snow Buntings by consulting a bird book at the library.
In addition to seeing and hearing a lot of birds migrating back north, I have noticed changes in the plants along the roadside. Some of the trees have a faint green tinge. There are many “pussy willows” budding. The Red Osier Dogwood clumps are all brilliant red. The library not only has books to help with bird identification, but also for tree, shrub, and other plant identification.
Despite today being the official first day of Spring, we can also be forgiven if we have our doubts. It was only a couple of years ago that we had heavy snow in April. I didn’t live here when it happened, but I have been told it snowed on the fourth of July in the early 1990s. This leads me to wonder about weather and climate change, about which the library also has books.
The book covers shown are but a small sampling of what the library has on birds, trees, and climate change. We have many more books that cover weather in general, other animals, wildflowers, and many different subjects. If Spring fever has struck, take a look at the Virginia Public Library catalog, either at home or in the library, to find books that will help satisfy your need to know!
–Susan Hoppe, Reference Services Librarian